26 April 2019

Malawi: Western Diplomat 'Shocked' Mutharika Is Still President After K145m Karim Donation Scandal

A Western diplomat is shocked that President Peter Mutharika is still President of Malawi and asking for another term even after the contentious K145 million donation he received from Zameer Karim of Pioneer Investment suspected to have been proceeds of crime in much-publicised Malawi Police Service (MPS) food rations scam.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) investigation report revealed that Karim deposited the said amount in a governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) bank account at Standard Bank whose sole signatory is President Mutharika.

Pioneer Investment deposited the K145 million into the DPP account immediately after getting a K2.7 billion payment from MPS for supplying food rations.

The diplomat, who opted for anonymity for obvious consequences, said in an interview with Nyasa Times in Lilongwe that in the Western counties it could be deemed immoral for a President to be asking for another term with a corruption case hanging over his head.

"I think Malawians are very patient and passive people. If it were in my country the moment it was discovered that the President had corruptly received tainted money in his account, he was going to be removed," he said.

The diplomat said he decided to give an exclusive interview after he visited a rural area three weeks ago where he was shocked with the poverty levels.

"What I saw there made me cry. I have never been depressed like this before. To think that these rural people are living in abject poverty made my heart shudder when people are get living large with corrupt money," said the diplomat.

"A mother was carrying a three month old baby on her back and a five year old girl walking on foot going to the hospital and they told me they had done 9 kilometers of the 15 kilometers journey, this really touched me," narrated the diplomat.

DPP Secretary General Greizelder Jeffrey is record to gave said she was not aware of the K145 million in the party's coffers.

But DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, who is also Minister of Homeland Security, said DPP refunded the money to Pioneer Investment, a move the Malawi Law Society described as an admission of wrongdoing.

The ACB later cleared Mutharika saying he did not personally benefit from the K145 million.

Mutharika withdrew about K65 million from the account at Standard Bank before the revelations came to light.

Just a few months after the K145 million deposit, Karim bought 5 Nissan Pickup vehicles worth K85 million and donated and registered them in Mutharika's name.

Karim and some senior police officials are facing corruption charges related to the K2.9 billion food rations deal which many feel is just a smokescreen to make the DPP look like is fighting corruption.

"Its sad that Malawians did not rise and demanded justice with the clear evidence of corruption and abuse of resources," said the diplomat.

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